Schools from all over Calgary participate in the Showcase School program that is part of the Mayor's Environment Expo.
Students embark on a minimum six-month environmental stewardship project to take action in their schools.
Read more about the 2012 projects below.
You can also view this year's school projects on the 2013 school projects page.
Evergreen School presents Evergreen Environmental Stewardship - Inside and Out
They are funky. They are ambitious. And most importantly, they are making a difference in their community. The Eco-Club at Evergreen School demonstrates environmental stewardship inside the classroom and out.
Their Showcase School project includes a number of exciting environmental initiatives. From 'sneaky spies' who ensured all the electronics were turned off in the classroom to their 'flower power' campaign where families had to commit to saving energy in their homes, to the mosiac art on the walls, to the beautiful naturalization area. The actions this eco-club took to make a difference for their planet are truly inspiring.
"This is the first time we are participating as a Showcase School and we have a really enthusiastic group of kids," says teacher Darby McAsey. "Our energy savings group has worked really hard to make a difference in the school and change people's behaviour. Teachers have even told me that they have changed what they are doing in the classroom such as turning off power bars and using candescent lamp lights."
At The Expo
Their showcase school project at the Expo includes their 'flower power" display where families helped save 22,400 kWh of energy. You will also learn about the steps the 'sneaky spies' took to conserve energy in the school and you can view pictures of how they built their naturalization area.
Ecole St. Gerard
Ecole St. Gerard presents Every Step Counts: We Can Make a Difference
The grades four and five students utilized their leadership skills to reduce their school's ecological footprint.
Their Showcase School project focuses on waste and energy reduction. In the fall, they decorated and distributed compostable bags for leaves and pumpkins. Then there was Destination Conservation, then Youthinkit Journalism, and then selling Eco-kits to reduce lunch waste.
The students are teaching, practicing and promoting waste management and energy reduction. They took on a leadership role and their projects became their own personal successes. It was important for them to share what they learned with their peers, the school and their families. And there was lots of pride in what they accomplished.
At the Expo:
Their showcase school project at the Expo includes tips on reducing water, energy and waste. You'll also get to see a potato-powered clock and super cool waste-inspired art.
Our Lady of Evergreens School
Our Lady of Evergreens presents Evergreen for Evergreen
The Green Team tackled waste in their school and reduced their noon-hour garbage by 50 per cent in just four months.
Their Showcase School project focuses on waste reduction. Each noon hour, the Grade five "police" students ensure all the paper and plastics get recycled and placed in the proper bins, while the Grade four students take turns rinsing out all the plastic containers.
Back in September, the school filled two full garbage cans each noon hour. By December, the Green Team had reduced the school's waste to one garbage can.
"These kids are volunteering during their lunch hour. They are demonstrating responsibility and that they truly care about the environment," says teacher, Peter Zombik. "It's exciting to see how passionate they are when they share their waste reduction secrets to their parents, their peers and other adults in the school."
At The Expo:
Their showcase school project at the Expo will include pictures of their success as well as their "sort the recyclables!" game.
Tom Baines School
Tom Baines School presents A Bright Future in the Dark
This Ecoleague Club set out to find out if you would pay more attention to how much money you spent on energy if you were constantly reminded.
Their Showcase School project focuses on energy conservation. Students were provided energy monitors to take home. The monitors documented how much energy common household appliances used and then offered the students clear direction for actions their families could take to reduce the energy usage. When the results were tallied, students found a 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption as a result of their monitoring efforts.
Additionally, they used a grant from ConocoPhillips to install motion-detecting light switches in their school. These switches drastically reduced the school's energy consumption.
Their project is simply not just about energy reduction; awareness plays a big part in their project goal. They have involved the entire school using games, prizes and pictures.
"We need to continue to be conscious of our actions," says Grade 9 student Priyanka Khiroya.
"We take energy for granted. A lot of people in the world don't have the privilege to light up their homes every night and we tend to forget that."
"The projects have made an amazing awareness not only in the school but the students have brought the information they learned home and into their communities," explains teacher, Ryan Morgan. "It's making a positive difference across the board."
At The Expo:
The Ecoleague will be sharing their energy saving tips and encouraging their peers to purchase energy monitors for their homes.
Mackenzie Lake School
Mackenzie Lake School presents Off The Grid - Imagine
Team Solar Panel are experts in growing plants and are proud supporters of the Slow Food Movement (communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality foods).
For their Showcase School Project, the students investigated solar energy as an alternative way to provide energy for plant growth. Earth boxes were donated to the school by Alberta Agriculture. Each class was responsible for two earth boxes; one box used solar panels to provide light and the other used natural light.
Although Team Solar Panel found that there wasn't much difference between using solar panels and natural light, they can sure tell you how to conserve energy and how to grow vegetables. They are having oodles of fun watching their crops, which include everything from pea shoots to basil, grow. Most importantly, they take a lot of pride in cooking the food that they are growing.
"The grade ones are eating much healthier. They have fun food Fridays and where they cook from actual ingredients," explains teacher, Kathleen Brennan. "The one thing we found is that if the kids have made the meal, they will eat it all themselves."
At The Expo:
Their showcase school project at the Expo will include an interactive game that teaches about the environment and posters that illustrate how solar panels work.
Monsignor E.L. Doyle
Monsignor E.L Doyle presents Measuring Energy Conservation: A Joint Home and School Inquiry
The Energy Patrol students at Monsignor E.L. Doyle Elementary School can tell you how much electricity common household appliances use. Better yet, they'll gladly share their energy saving strategies with you.
Their Showcase School Project focuses on conserving energy. A grant from ENMAX provided each student an electronic energy meter to measure the amount of energy used by common household appliances at home and around the school.
The Energy Patrol was then challenged to reduce the amount of electricity on their power bills. Students recorded their energy consumption patterns for three months. During class, they discussed actions to conserve energy. Actions such as wearing a sweater instead of turning up the heat, purchasing low-flow shower heads and using natural sunlight instead of turning on the lights, led to reduced energy bills.
"Kids are consistently making positive choices to conserve energy on a regular basis," says teacher, Don McLaughlin. "And they are excited to share their understanding of energy conservation with their peers, the school and the community through initiatives such as the Mayor's Environment Expo."
Each day, the Energy Patrol students shared their energy saving strategies with their peers during the morning annoucements. Fun campaigns such as "turn off the lights to save the polar bears" and "National Sweater Day" created awareness throughout the school and built quite the hype to join the action.
At The Expo
Their showcase school project at the Expo will include an energy jeopardy game that will teach youth about energy consumption.
St. Rose of Lima
St. Rose of Lima presents St. Roses' Dirt of the Garden
The Showcase School students of St. Rose of Lima love their worms.
This team of Grades 7-9 students is reducing their environmental impact by growing an edible garden and producing organic compost.
Over the course of the year, the students have been collecting food waste such as fruit and vegetable peels. By using two indoor vermi-composting bins and two outdoor composting bins, they turned this waste into "gold" for their spring garden.
"The classroom has learned a lot about conservation and what they can do themselves to help the environment," explains teacher, Mrs. Leung. "By diverting organic food from the landfill, we are reducing waste while growing high quality, organic crops."
At the Expo
This Showcase School is really looking forward to show off their worms. Their plan is to use the worms to help youth understand the bigger picture of their actions and how taking simple actions like composting, impact the environment.
St. James presents Visions of Tomorrow
The Global Leadership class at St. James is proving that anyone can make a difference in this world.
Students were provided the opportunity to explore a myriad of global issues. Multiple issues, including water and energy conservation, moved the students to undertake various projects that have meaningful impact.
Each of the seventeen leaders is working on an individual project. Projects include everything from volunteering at the SPCA, to fundraising to protect habitats, to monitoring energy consumption, to educating best practices, to installing sensors to reduce water run times in the school's washrooms. They are even sharing ideas on how to protect the coral reefs with their partner school in Grenada.
There's no stopping these environmental leaders from making a difference. They are changing the behavior of their peers, their teachers and even their parents.
Grade nine teacher, Bill Robinson says, "These projects have truly empowered my students to take action to protect the environment. They had the opportunity to choose what environmental action interested them. Because they had that choice, hopefully it will be life-long learning."
At The Expo
Their showcase school project at the Expo will include an interactive display that will demonstrate different ways Calgarians can be more environmentally friendly.
Blessed Cardinal Newman
Blessed Cardinal Newman presents Use Less! Don't Make a Mess!
By 2020, The City of Calgary hopes to divert 80% of waste from the landfills, and the Eco Club students at Blessed Cardinal Newman are helping us meet that goal.
As part of their Showcase School project, a team of grades 6-9 students are implementing awaste reduction programin their school. They understand that reducing waste can substantially minimize our impact on the environment - and they have a role in this.
Every noon hour, the students monitor the recycling bins and talk to their peers about the proper way to recycle. But the Eco Club is learning that there's more to reducing waste than recycling - it's also about reducing and reusing.
They're putting this learning into practice by leading on waste-free lunches, educational presentations, paperless campaigns, and even creating garbage-inspired art.
As the result of their determination and creativity, they see bigger bags of recycling, less garbage and less waste all together.
"To date, we have 600 pounds of recycled waste," says teacher Tara Hobart. "We've never recycled at lunch time before so this is a new learning curve for all kids in the school. It's really increased awareness on the recycling program and how much stuff we can recycle."
At the Expo:
Their showcase school project at the Expo will demonstrate how recycling can be FUN by highlighting their art created out of waste. Visit this Eco Club and be inspired by their recyclable butterflies!
Calgary Science School
Calgary Science School presents The Weaselhead - A living museum
Every hand in the Science School, Grade 5 classroom goes up when asked why is the Weaselhead a living museum? In fact, the Weaselhead is a natural area in the southwest of the city and is literally the Science School's back yard. The students make it very clear that the Weaselhead is more than just a park; it's an educational tool.
The students created their project by analyzing photos from the park's past, using maps, as well as working with a local historian and other subject matter experts.
Through learning about the history of the park, listening to the stories and exploring its diverse ecosystem, the students have developed a strong connection and appreciation of the natural area that they have access to for the six years they attend the school. The Expo provides a unique opportunity for the passionate class to bring awareness to the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the Weaselhead.
"The Weaselhead is my favourite park in the city because there are tons of animals and it's kept really clean," says Grade 5 student Alison Cameron. "We need to protect parks, like the Weaselhead. If we don't, future people will not be able to enjoy them like we have the opportunity to now."
At the Expo:
Their showcase school project will include an interactive exhibit of the Weaselhead that will help them encourage Expo participants to join in their efforts to protect the environment. To add an environmental twist, their exhibit will be crafted out of garbage and powered by peddling a bicycle.
Calgary Science School
Calgary Science School presents Carbon Neutral
The students at the Calgary Science School are learning just how much energy we use on a daily basis. Moreover, they have a greater appreciation for how difficult it is to go off the grid and make a classroom carbon neutral.
The idea behind the project was to power the classroom using a stationary bicycle that students volunteered to peddle.
It didn't take long before they realized just how much energy was required to make the classroom carbon neutral, or powered solely from the bike. They determined they would need four bicycles to make the classroom carbon neutral.
"The biggest impact this project has had on students is that they have more appreciation for how much energy we use in our classroom and it enforces them to have more awareness of energy conservation," explains Greg Neil, Grade five teacher. "Because of this project, I've noticed a big change with the students taking simple actions to reduce wasteful electricity."
At The Expo:
Their showcase school project, Carbon Neutral, will include powering an interactive display of the natural area, The Weaselhead, using the stationary bicycle.